Onychomycosis (Toenail Fungus) research in Portland, Oregon,
Onychomycosis can be challenging to treat and clear in some people. There is a high rate of relapse and reinfection with nail fungus due to a genetic predisposition and susceptibility.
Preventing Onychomycosis (Toenail Fungus)
Here are some simple measures that may help prevent recurrence of the fungus once it is gone:
- Apply a topical antifungal cream on your nails long term to keep the spores that are around in the environment from re-infecting your feet and nails.
- Most fungus starts on the skin of the feet first (athlete’s foot) then spreads to the nails. Treat any sign of foot fungus promptly with an antifungal cream. This can be either with a prescription or over the counter medication. Lamisil cream is a good topical treatment that can be obtained without a prescription.
- Don’t walk barefoot in places where other people walk barefoot, such as gyms, health clubs, swimming pools, and even hotel rooms. Try to wear shower shoes or flip-flops instead of walking barefoot in these areas.
- Do not use the same clipper for fungal nails and unaffected nails. Wash nail clippers well with soap and water after use, or swab with alcohol.
- If you have pedicures, take your own tools with you to the salon.
- Keep feet cool and dry as much as possible. Fungus likes warm, moist areas.
Onychomycosis (Toenail Fungus) Treatments
Topical treatments can sometimes be effective in the nails if the fungus is superficial (early/not affecting much of the nail). In general, topical treatments do not penetrate well through the nail plate therefore oral treatments are often used. It can take 6-12 months for nails to grow out so improvement may not be noted right away.
Oral Lamisil (terbinafine) and Diflucan are often used in treatment of nail fungus.
Prior to starting Lamisil or Diflucan, please provide us with a full list of all medications including over the counter and herbal medications. Your primary care physician may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. It is also important to mention any history of kidney or liver disease, HIV, or AIDS. If you have not had recent labs we will draw a liver funtion test prior to starting the medication and usually 6 weeks into taking the medication.
After finishing Lamisil or Diflucan in most cases we will recommend maintaining with a topical anti-fungal such as Lamisil cream or Lotrimin Ultra (both over the counter topical treatments).
Lamisil (terbinafine) is a pill used to treat fungal infections of the nails, and occasionally skin. This medication is taken orally, once daily, typically for 12 weeks. In some cases a 1-2 month booster may be needed after completing the initial course. Avoid alcohol consumption while taking Lamisil. Let us know immediately if any of the following occur: upset stomach that does not go away, loss of appetite, extreme tiredness, pain in the right upper part of the stomach, vomiting, dark urine, pale stools, severe skin rash, fever, sore throat, or other signs of infection. Do not share this medication with anyone else.